Daytona Beach Economic Advisory Board Looks to the Future
While the pace of economic development has slowed in recent months, things are moving forward in Daytona Beach and Volusia County.
At a recent meeting of the Daytona Beach Economic Development Advisory Board, members were briefed on current activity and future prospects on several fronts.
Katrina Friel, Volusia County Department of Economic Development business manager, said the agency is working to find a new director to replace Helga van Eckert, who left the county earlier this year.
“We are currently going through the director selection process,” Friel said. “Interviews are happening at this point.”
Friel also said the county’s economic development website, floridabusiness.org, offers several programs to support existing local businesses and businesses coming into the area.
At Team Volusia EDC, President and CEO Keith Norden said the agency currently has several irons in the fire.
“We continue to be active,” he said. “There are several projects we are submitting final proposals to.”
Norden said Team Volusia staff recently attended an event sponsored by Select Florida, the state’s official international commerce organization specializing in tax issues.
Norden said Team Volusia is also working on completing a strategic plan which is scheduled to be unveiled at the organization’s annual meeting on March 7, 2024.
“We appreciate many of you participating in the interviews and surveys that went to our investor community and community partners,” he said.
In addition, Team Volusia is applying to become a fully accredited economic development organization.
“It is an important aspect of being viewed by the rest of the country as an economic development organization that has actually done all that’s required to be accredited,” Norden said.
Daytona Regional Chamber President and CEO Nancy Keefer highlighted several of the organization’s upcoming events and said work on the group’s headquarters facility is moving forward.
“We are in month eight of renovation of the Chamber building, and it’s been a fun project to watch,” she said. “We’re adding a lot of training space.”
Keefer said the additional space also will be available for use by community groups not only during normal office hours but after hours as well.
Jeff Brown, Daytona Beach director of economic and strategic opportunities, talked about coming projects and noted a slowdown in activity.
That generated a discussion among advisory board members about incentives and remaining active in pursuit of new business development opportunities.
“We’ve seen a slowdown in lead generation from the state entity,” Norden said. “Mainly because of confusion of Enterprise Florida ending and putting it into what was the Department of Commerce. I think there’s a lot of confusion of site location consultants who don’t know who really to contact.”
Norden said he received a call from a “top consultant” about the situation.
“It’s a concern because a lot of other consultants are not sure what is going on with the State of Florida,” he said.